Assault or battery: What’s the difference?

Assault or battery: What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If you are accused with assault or battery, you need to understand what that means and how those accusations could affect you. Violent crimes can lead to serious punishments, which is why you need to have a strong defense to protect yourself.

In the scenario in which you’re accused of threatening or harming someone, you may be accused of assault or battery. The two are different charges, though many people think of them as the same thing.

What is assault?

Assault is unique from battery because no contact is necessary for you to be accused of assault. For example, if you threaten someone else and make them fear for their life, then you could be accused of assault.

Here’s how that charge could come up. Imagine getting involved in an argument with someone you’ve just met. You start yelling at them and threatening them in some way. In that case, since they could reasonably think that you’re going to harm them, you could be accused of assault.

What is battery?

Battery is different because harmful or offensive conduct does have to happen. For example, if you are involved in a bar fight and hit another person with a chair, you’d be accused of battery.

Sometimes, assault and battery charges go together. Initially, there may have been threats, or a situation might have built up into a physical altercation. Since these two offenses could happen near the same time, it makes sense that you could face both charges in court.

You can build a defense if you’re accused of assault and battery

If you are accused of assault or battery, you have the option to build a defense and fight the charges. You have a right to speak with an attorney and to go over what these charges could mean for you.

It is helpful to understand the possible penalties as well as the defensive options you could use to help yourself. In some cases, you may be able to get the charges reduced or eliminated completely. The exact defenses available will depend on your circumstances, so it’s valuable to learn more about your legal options.